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Growth Spurts: It’s Always Time to Be Thankful

November causes many of us to be particularly mindful of counting our blessings. I wish we didn’t need a reminder, but I’m glad we have it. I have found personally that when I am focused on being thankful, my perspective brightens and lightens. It is a discipline, though—one that takes effort on my part, since I’m not naturally, shall we say, perky. It’s not that I’m striving for perkiness—just optimism. This trait comes more naturally to some people, which is wonderful, but I have to intentionally work at it. The effort is well rewarded, though, and my entire family benefits from it.

How do I work at optimism? Well, my method is actually pretty similar to the “Glad Game” in the classic Disney movie Pollyanna. This might sound cheesy or silly to some people, but I happen to like it. And though I don’t always remember (or want) to “play the game,” I’m always glad when I do.

If there is a particular situation that is getting me down, I try to think of specific things or people to be thankful for in that circumstance. But if I’m just generally feeling down—and if I remember to be proactive in this discipline I’m learning—I start making a mental list of things and people and circumstances for which I am thankful. Thankfully, I like making lists!

So in honor of this month of thankfulness (and to continue my practice), I’ll share one of my lists with you:

I’m thankful for my husband and children, who love me well.

I’m thankful for the teamwork between my husband and me.

I’m thankful for a peaceful home.

I’m thankful for my children’s laughter.

I’m thankful for second (third, fourth . . . ) chances when I make a mistake in marriage or parenting.

I’m thankful that my husband and children are quick to forgive me.

I’m thankful for date nights and free babysitters.

I’m thankful for friends and family who are in the parenting “trenches” with us, so that we can all share what we’re learning with each other.

I’m thankful that my children have loving grandparents who are involved in their lives.

I’m thankful for my children’s creativity.

I’m thankful for the many, many lessons I have learned and continue to learn through motherhood.

I’m thankful for our two sweet dogs.

I’m thankful for help with the housework.

I’m thankful for new days and fresh starts.

I’m thankful that I get to share my stories with readers of Parents & Kids Magazine. (Speaking of disciplines, this column has been a wonderful way for me to make sure I write down my family’s stories and learn from them.)

Now you do it. Make a list, either on paper or just in your mind, of some things you have to be thankful for. Now do it more than once a year. I think you’ll be pleased with the results!

 

Carrie Bevell Partridge thinks that Pollyanna is one of the greatest Disney movies ever made and is thankful to own a copy of it.

 

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at carriebevellpartridge.com and Facebook.com/carriebevellpartridge.

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